Do you folks remember that movie? (Somebody Up There Likes Me.) It was produced way back in 1956 (many years before I was born) and starred the great Paul Newman. The movie was actually a biopic, based upon the life and career of the legendary boxer, Rocky Graziano. (Yes, there really was a Rocky!) I enjoyed the movie because I did a little boxing in high school. Well, actually, I worked in the wrapping department at Macy’s, but we did use a lot of boxes. I didn’t care for boxing, but I could certainly take a punch. In fact, I took the punch at my high school prom, but that’s another story. In any case, my best rounds were at Trees Lounge, a local watering hole in Valley Stream, Long Island. So why the above title?
Well…. believe it or not, my new history book, TURBULENT TIMES was just chosen as a FINALIST for best U.S. History Book of the Year in the 2017 BEST BOOK AWARDS CONTEST! The 14th annual contest attracted over 2,000 entries from mainstream publishers, including McGraw-Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ST. Martin’s Press, Penguin Random House, and the Hachette Book Group. A number of Pulitzer Prize winners were also represented in the contest, and before you ask, I DID NOT bribe any of the judges. (Although I did offer some “walking around money.”) Seriously, though, this was a great honor, and I thank the man upstairs for looking out for me!
Speaking of great honors, I had the honor and privilege of attending a Mass of the Resurrection for Mr. Lee David Cutrone yesterday. As you know, yesterday was Veteran’s Day, the day we honor all of the brave men and women who have proudly worn our nation’s military uniform. Lee was a remarkable man, and in addition to being a wonderful husband and father, he was also a veteran of the U.S. Army. He served with distinction from 1970-1974, achieving the rank of 1st Lieutenant in Military Intelligence. And since I mentioned “the man upstairs,” listen to this: As Lee was being interred, two ARMY helicopters randomly flying back to their base, flew DIRECTLY overhead! This was not pre-arranged, but in my view, a salute from you-know-who! So, to Lee, and all you other vets out there, thank you for your service, and may God bless you, too!
By the way, many of my blog followers have asked about my Uncle Heshy, who served with extinction in the Army AirCorps during World War Two. I say extinction, because he shot down three foreign aircraft during the opening hours of the war! Unfortunately, two of the planes were British, and the third was a blimp from France. Nevertheless, they were shot down, which should count for something. (Besides the court-martial and 10-year prison term.) We are still proud of my uncle, who, after his release, became a pilot for Malaysian Airlines.
So what else is new? I did not sleep well last night. My wife woke me up in the middle of the night and told me that there was a crazy man in the house! Luckily, it was me. Women. What are you gonna do.
Just a reminder, on November 27th, I will be giving a speech about my first history book, THE SECOND MOURNING, in Lakeway, Texas. After my verbal performance, I will be signing books, so bring plenty of cash. Just kidding about the cash, bring a credit card! I will publish more details about the event at a later date, but I believe that you need to be a member of the sponsoring group in order to attend. Still, if you are so inclined, you can now purchase all of my mystery and history books at Amazon.com (They make wonderful holiday gifts, and ALL royalties will be donated to the victims of the recent hurricanes!)
Well, I am off to the nursery once again. (No, I didn’t have another child!) I am babysitting once more, attending to my two beautiful grand-daughters, Goldie and Fiona. I shall attempt to post a photograph of these two ladies, dressed as you can see, in their Halloween costumes. (At least I think they’re costumes, you never know with this generation!) Have a safe and glorious week, love to all,